Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable Recovery May 2021

 
Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable Recovery May 2021
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION

Acceleration
Roadmap:
Pathway to an Equitable
Recovery
May 2021
Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable Recovery May 2021
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                    2

             MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
                         75 PLEASANT STREET, MALDEN, MA 02148-4906
Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable Recovery May 2021
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3

Table of Contents
Letter from the Commissioner .................................................................................................................................................................. 4

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 5
    Background............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 5
Overview of the Roadmap ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6

How to Use this Roadmap: ........................................................................................................................................................................ 7

Key Action Steps for the 2021-2022 School Year .................................................................................................................................... 8

Phase 1 – Diagnostic and Planning Work ................................................................................................................................................. 9
   PHASE 1 - Priority 1: Set a vision for and establish plans to foster a sense of belonging and partnership among students and families.
   ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9
       PHASE 1 - Priority 2: Establish systems to monitor students’ understanding. ............................................................................................................ 10
       PHASE 1 - Priority 3: Review and adjust curriculum and pacing guides. ...................................................................................................................... 11
Phase 2 – Launch ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 13
   PHASE 2 - Priority 1: Welcome students and families to your classroom. ................................................................................................................... 13
       PHASE 2 - Priority 2: Monitor students’ understanding. ..................................................................................................................................................... 14
       PHASE 2 - Priority 3: Provide grade-appropriate assignments and plan scaffolding strategies........................................................................... 15

Phase 3 – Progress Monitoring................................................................................................................................................................ 16
   PHASE 3 - Priority 1: Deepen relationships with students and families. ....................................................................................................................... 16
       PHASE 3 – Priorities 2 and 3: Monitor students’ understanding & provide grade-appropriate instruction with just-in-time scaffolds. 17

Phase 4 – Reflection and Planning .......................................................................................................................................................... 19
   PHASE 4 - Priority 1: Celebrate students’ accomplishments and reflect on students’ and families’ experiences. .......................................... 19
       PHASE 4 - Priority 2: Assess and analyze student mastery of grade-level content. .................................................................................................. 19
       PHASE 4 - Priority 3: Reflect on instructional practices and set professional learning goals................................................................................. 20

Appendix A: Actions and resources to provide grade-appropriate instruction with just-in-time scaffolds (Phase 3, Priority 3) .. 21
   Strategy 1: Proactively build academic mindsets with your students. ........................................................................................................................... 21
       Strategy 2: Set clear behavioral and academic expectations for student participation and work. ...................................................................... 21
       Strategy 3: Ask questions and assign tasks that require critical thinking. .................................................................................................................... 22
       Strategy 4: Give all students a chance to do the work. ....................................................................................................................................................... 22
       Strategy 5: Check for understanding frequently and strategically. ................................................................................................................................. 23
       Strategy 6: Hold high expectations for student responses and ask targeted follow-up questions..................................................................... 23
       Strategy 7: Facilitate academic discussion and feedback among students.................................................................................................................. 23

Appendix B: Important Terms and Concepts ......................................................................................................................................... 24
   Learning Acceleration and Remediation .................................................................................................................................................................................. 24
       High-Quality Instructional Materials and Grade-Appropriate Assignments ................................................................................................................ 25
       Scaffolding .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 25
       Prerequisite Skills and Just-in-Time Scaffolding .................................................................................................................................................................... 25
       Culturally Responsive Teaching ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 26

Terms of Use ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 27
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                        4

Letter from the Commissioner
Dear Massachusetts Educators,

The 2020-2021 school year has been like no other in my career as an educator. I want to extend my thanks to all of you for your hard
work on behalf of the students in our Commonwealth, day after day, amid unprecedented challenges.

Despite the herculean efforts of educators and families, we must acknowledge that many of our students are facing unfinished learning
heading into the summer and the next school year. While it is not a new challenge for educators to serve students with varied academic
needs, the pandemic has made this challenge significantly more pronounced and widespread. To effectively meet the needs of our
students – particularly those most impacted by the pandemic – we need to focus on making sure all of our kids receive the culturally
responsive support they need be successful in their grade level. At the same time, we need to support students and teachers as they
socially and emotionally navigate the trauma they’ve experienced during the ongoing public health and economic crises.

While the pandemic has presented many challenges and disruptions to teaching and learning, we must also acknowledge the many
ways our students grew throughout this past year. Many demonstrated the ability to adapt to constantly evolving circumstances,
explore new ways of learning and collaborating, engage in civic processes, and advocate for what they need, among many other skills.
The same can be said about the work of our dedicated and talented educators in the Commonwealth. This should be recognized as an
important set of assets and expertise to leverage in the coming years. When students and staff begin the 2021-2022 school year, we
should welcome one another with genuine curiosity about what each has learned in the last year and what everyone needs to be
successful moving forward. This document builds on the practices demonstrated by educators across the Commonwealth this year and
provides specific actions you can take during the 2021-2022 school year to address the diversity of learning needs in your classroom.

The strategies in this document are based on a philosophy of learning acceleration, which strategically prepares students for success in
the present — this week, on this content. Past concepts and skills are taught, but always in the context of grade-level learning. Learning
acceleration doesn’t mean racing through the curriculum, but instead ensuring that students can spend as much time as possibl e
engaging meaningfully with grade-appropriate work. If a student hasn’t mastered the earlier skills that are required to complete a
grade-appropriate assignment, the student receives “just-in-time support” — giving the student just the right amount of help to move
forward, right when they need that help, through scaffolds and coordinated interventions. When this approach includes strong
relationship-building efforts, social emotional support, and authentic partnerships with families, we know that we are setting our
students up for success.

We have partnered with TNTP, a national education nonprofit that has been supporting districts for more than two decades, to develop
a roadmap for acceleration for the state. The Acceleration Roadmap sets the priorities needed to accelerate learning in our schools
and classrooms. As part of the design process, we heard from educators, students, and community members from across the
Commonwealth. We appreciate the time that everyone took to share their experiences and insights with us. Their perspectives helped
shape this roadmap.

We know districts, schools, and educators are in different places in their planning and recovery efforts, and many of you may already
incorporate many of the action steps outlined here. This guide is organized in a manner that allows you to chart your own course,
starting at the beginning, identifying steps you already have in place, and then identifying priority additional steps as soon as your team
is ready. The Department is committed to supporting you and will be in touch with webinar and professional learning opportunities over
the next few months for you and your school and district administrators to support implementation of strategies in this guide. I look
forward to our continued work together on behalf of the Commonwealth’s children.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey C. Riley
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Please consider providing feedback on this roadmap through this survey. Your feedback will inform the content and structure
of professional development aligned to this roadmap as well as future DESE guidance.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                                  5

Introduction
The Acceleration Roadmap is a tool for teachers and school/building administrators in Massachusetts. It is designed to provide a
focused and phased approach to supporting students as they begin the 2021-2022 school year, a year that will lay the foundation for
accelerated learning over the next several years. The roadmap is organized around three overarching priorities, which are grounded in
research and were developed through extensive stakeholder feedback. These priorities are to:
     1.   Foster a sense of belonging and partnership among students and families,1 2 3
     2.   Continuously monitor students’ understanding, and 4 5
     3.   Ensure strong grade-appropriate instruction with just-in-time scaffolds when they are needed.6 7 8

Within each priority, our approaches are designed to create equitable experiences and outcomes for all of your students in a manner
that is affirming of their race, identity, home language, and unique abilities.

Background
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools across the country to confront unprecedented challenges. A months-long disruption of
school has exacerbated longstanding inequities and opportunity gaps, at a moment when the nation has been grappling with issues
concerning systemic racism.
Despite the efforts of teachers, administrators and families, over this past year, many students missed out on critical instructional time,
particularly our traditionally underserved students. Simultaneously, students participated in remote and hybrid settings, gaining skills,
perspective, and knowledge about their unique ways of learning, and we should approach the fall with the intention of leveraging their
expertise to design instruction that meets their needs. The same can be said for the resilience and expertise of our classroom educators.

As we plan to support the diversity of student needs this fall, with a focus on educational equity, a body of research supports the
strategy of learning acceleration.

                                     All students receive consistent access to grade-level work with targeted scaffolds to make it
    Learning Acceleration
                                     accessible.9
                                     Students mainly receive work better suited for earlier grades, based on the misconception that they
    Traditional Remediation:
                                     must master all past concepts before accessing grade-level work.10

A common approach to addressing unfinished learning is remediation, which is often based on the misconception that for students to
learn new information, they must first go back and master everything they missed. In TNTP’s report, “The Opportunity Myth,” they
found the remediation approach of starting the school year with months of prior year content, when used exclusively, practically
guarantees that students will actually lose more academic ground. Further, these approaches serve to reinforce misguided beliefs that
some students cannot do grade-level work. The students stuck in this vicious cycle are disproportionately students of color, English
learners, students with disabilities, and those from low-income families.

Schools and classrooms that have been able to break this cycle (as highlighted in “The Opportunity Myth”) have embraced a learning
acceleration approach, which asserts that every student is capable of accessing grade-appropriate work with the right supports, and
that regular access to grade-appropriate work is critical to their academic development.11 Accelerating learning does not mean rushing
through curriculum or teaching only certain portions of academic standards. In addition to providing grade-appropriate work, it
requires collecting ongoing data on what students know and are able to do, incorporating the scaffolding strategies students need in
the context of a school-wide multi-tiered system of support, and simultaneously developing a culture of belonging and inclusivity.

1
  Retrieved from http://studentexperiencenetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/What-We-Know-About-Belonging.pdf
2
  Christenson, S. L., Reschly, A. L., & Wylie, C. (Eds.). (2012). What is student engagement? In Handbook of research on student engagement. Springer
Science & Business Media.
3
  Aronson, B., & Laughter, J. (2016). The theory and practice of culturally relevant education: A synthesis of research across content areas. Review of
Educational Research, 86 (1), 163-206.
4
  Harbour, K. E., Evanovich, L. L., Sweigart, C. A., & Hughes, L. E. (2015). A brief review of effective teaching practices that maximize student
engagement. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 59(1), 5-13.
5
  Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of Instruction: Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers Should Know. American educator, 36(1), 12.
6
  TNTP. (2018). The Opportunity Myth. Brooklyn, NY: TNTP Retrieved from https://opportunitymyth.tntp.org/.
7
  Matsumura, L. C., Garnier, H., Pascal, J., & Valdés, R. (2002). Measuring instructional quality in accountability systems: Classroom assignments and
student achievement. Educational Assessment, 8(3), 207-229.
8
  Joyce, J., Harrison, J. R., & Gitomer, D. H. (2018). Modifications and accommodations: a preliminary investigation into changes in classroom artifact
quality. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-21.
9
  Retrieved 3 June 2020 from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/114026/chapters/Acceleration@_Jump-Starting_Students_Who_Are_Behind.aspx
10
   Retrieved 3 June 2020 from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/114026/chapters/Acceleration@_Jump-Starting_Students_Who_Are_Behind.aspx
11
   https://opportunitymyth.tntp.org/different-resources-different-results
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                               6

Overview of the Roadmap
This roadmap is designed to help educators and administrators plan to accelerate learning for all students during the 2021-2022 school
year. It divides the year into four phases:

                Phase 1:                             Phase 2:                          Phase 3:                              Phase 4:
         Diagnostic and Planning                     Launch                       Progress Monitoring                Reflection and Planning

     Before the 1st day of school 2021     September - October 2021          November 2021 - April 2022                  May - June 2022

Within each phase, we offer guidance aligned to the three key priorities:

     Priority 1: Foster a sense of belonging and partnership among students and families12

     This past year has shown us how powerful it is when we leverage entire communities to ensure that every child has the support they
     need. As school systems plan for the next school year, it’s essential to engage students, families, and a wide range of community
     organizations as full partners. Students’ sense of belonging is a critical — and often undervalued — condition for academic success.
     Students who feel a sense of belonging “feel socially connected, supported, and respected”.13 They trust their teachers and their
     peers, and they “feel a sense of fit at school.” 14 In order to engage with students and their families as authentic partners, we must
     approach engagement with a focus on equity. This means a) establishing meaningful engagement activities and systems that do not
     characterize or treat specific parent groups as deficient in their level of engagement or approach to education and b)
     acknowledging and navigating cultural differences through communication, humility, and sensitivity. 15

     Priority 2: Continuously monitor students’ understanding.

     To accelerate students’ progress, system leaders and educators need to identify exactly what unfinished learning needs to be
     addressed, when, and how. Accelerated learning requires that students consistently receive grade-level materials and tasks, along
     with targeted scaffolds that make the work accessible.16 In order to do this, educators need to have a strategic approach to
     collecting and using diagnostic data this year, so that they’re identifying the highest priority prerequisite knowledge and skills “just
     in time” throughout the school year. As the Achievement Network states in 3 Principles for Assessments During Instructional
     Recovery and Beyond, “Data should never serve as a gatekeeper to grade-level content” but should instead inform educators of how
     to support students in accessing the content.

     Priority 3: Ensure strong grade-appropriate instruction with just-in-time scaffolds when they are needed.

     Students need consistent access to grade-appropriate assignments that will help them master grade-level standards. This is
     especially important for students who are performing below grade level, who research has shown are the least likely to receive
     grade-appropriate assignments. In addition to providing grade-appropriate assignments, it’s important that teachers use strong
     instructional practices, including addressing the unique needs of English learners and providing individualized, modified content
     and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. 17

12
   Language and resources in Priority 1 draw on resources created by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) https://ccsso.org/coronavirus
13
   http://studentexperiencenetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/What-We-Know-About-Belonging.pdf
14
   http://studentexperiencenetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/What-We-Know-About-Belonging.pdf
15
   https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/10/equitable_family_engag_508.pdf
16
   Retrieved 3 June 2020 from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/114026/chapters/Acceleration@_Jump-Starting_Students_Who_Are_Behind.aspx
17
   TNTP. (2018). The Opportunity Myth. Brooklyn, NY: TNTP Retrieved from https://opportunitymyth.tntp.org/.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                         7

How to Use this Roadmap:
          Consider your context: Throughout this roadmap, resources and tools are organized by priority and phase of the year. The
          priority-level guidance includes key guiding questions, suggested steps for success, and aligned resources. We recognize that
          many educators and administrators may already have a plan in place for some or all of the listed action steps. Given the
          different places schools and educators are in and the need to set the conditions for sustainable change, we encourage
          you to review the charts in each phase, identify what you already have in place, and focus on one additional step at a
          time, working your way down the list as you and your team are ready. Note that timeframes in the document are
          approximate and are designed to illustrate when certain key actions may be most effective. Districts and schools should adapt
          the suggested dates to fit their local context.

          Plan Strategically: Depending on where each classroom, school, and district is starting from, it may not be feasible to
          incorporate all of the suggested steps in one year. Rather, the goal of this tool is to help educators and administrators identify
          high-priority goals and action steps that will best serve students in their unique context and to deepen educators’ and
          administrators’ commitment to action steps that they have already implemented. Upcoming webinars from TNTP will support
          educators’ and administrators’ use of this guide to set priorities and create an action plan for each phase of the year.

          Sign up for implementation support: This document provides a list of action steps that can be described as “the what” –
          key steps that will support learning acceleration in classrooms and schools this upcoming school year. However, we realize
          that a document alone may not provide sufficient support. Users may also require support in determining the “how”: based
          on a classroom’s specific diagnostic data, how might you adjust a pacing guide? How can administrators effectively support
          change management by leveraging educator voice, strategically staffing to support priorities, and being mindful of educator
          burnout? These specific “how” elements will be addressed through a menu of professional learning opportunities, available
          synchronously and asynchronously throughout the summer. You can also suggest additional professional learning topics
          through our Acceleration Roadmap feedback survey.

                                                       Disclosure Statement

Reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name
is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Our office is not responsible for and does not in any way guarantee the
accuracy of information in other sites accessible through links herein. For more information, contact: Jacqulyn.M.Gantzer@mass.gov,
781-338-3529.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                    8

Key Action Steps for the 2021-2022 School Year
Below is a high-level summary of key action steps for the 2021-2022 school year that classroom educators will find outlined in this Roadmap.

                                 Phase 1                            Phase 2                                      Phase 3                              Phase 4
                        Diagnostic & Planning                         Launch                              Progress Monitoring                  Reflection & Planning
                        Before first day of school ‘21             Sept.-Oct. ‘21                             Nov. ‘21-April ‘22                     May-June ‘22

                    •     Plan for a welcoming           •    Monitor attendance and           •   Continue to develop culturally              •   Provide an end-of-
                          environment, including              engagement.                          responsive and SEL instruction skills.          year survey to gather
     Sense of             explicit culturally            •    Build relationships and          •   Gather student and family feedback to           feedback on student
    Belonging             responsive and SEL                  conduct regular student              build stronger relationships and                and family
                          instruction.                        check-ins.                           instruction.                                    experiences.
                    •     Gather information on                                                •   Drive student learning using the Teacher    •   Plan an event that
                          student and family                                                       Instructional Cycle.                            celebrates students’
                          experiences.                                                                                                             accomplishments.
                    •     Create a family
                          communication plan.
                    •     Plan an assessment             •    Use curriculum-embedded                                                          •   Conduct summative
    Monitor               calendar.                           assessments.                                                                         assessments.
  Understanding     •     Collect available              •    Participate in school-based                                                      •   Share data to support
                          assessment data.                    data analysis PD.                                                                    planning for summer
                                                                                                                                                   learning and the next
                                                                                                                                                   school year.

                    •     Evaluate curriculum            •    Set rituals for regular                                                          •   Analyze student
      Strong              against CURATE rubric to            examination of student                                                               achievement data to
    Instruction           ensure grade-level rigor.           work against grade-level                                                             inform areas to adjust
                    •     Adjust pacing guide to              standards with English                                                               next year.
                          include time for scaffolds          learner & special education
                          while prioritizing grade-           colleagues.
                          level content.                 •    Plan scaffolding strategies
                                                              for daily or weekly lessons,
                                                              where needed.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                                                                  9

Phase 1 – Diagnostic and Planning Work
Prior to the First Day of School, 2021

     PHASE 1 - Priority 1: Set a vision for and establish plans to foster a sense of belonging and
     partnership among students and families.
         In this phase, your goal is to understand previous student and family experiences and needs leading into the 2021-2022 school
         year. You should review any school survey data that is available, develop a plan to communicate with students’
         families, and prepare your classroom activities to ensure that you are able to learn about the students and
         families you will work with this year. Consider using this calendar worksheet to chart your course for the year.

               Key Questions                                           Steps for Success                                                     Aligned Resources
         Do students feel                     •      Set a vision for a welcoming, supportive, and                           •     Review these “Look-Fors” for
         welcome in my                               inclusive classroom environment.                                              culturally responsive teaching 18 and
         classroom?                           •      Ensure that your vision is built for all students,                            culturally responsive SEL to set goals
                                                     including students from groups that are                                       for yourself for the year.
                                                     commonly marginalized or not part of the                                •     Reflect on DESE’s 5 elements of safe
                                                     dominant culture group.                                                       & supportive schools.
                                              •      Engage in learning opportunities to build on your                       •     Use CASEL’s three signature practices
                                                     cultural proficiency and sociopolitical                                       to foster a supportive environment or
                                                     consciousness.                                                                use their guide to creating a
                                              •      Prepare transitional lesson plans that teach                                  supportive environment with
                                                     grade-level content while incorporating social                                consistent routines.
                                                     and emotional learning.                                                 •     Explore TNTP’s sample transitional
                                                                                                                                   lessons for examples.

         Am I seeking student                 •      Gather information about students’ and families’                        •     Review results from or adapt TNTP’s
         and family input and                        experiences, wellbeing, and engagement needs,                                 Learning Acceleration Survey.
         feedback to inform my                       providing translation and interpretation where                          •     Consider using this sample
         efforts?                                    necessary.                                                                    communication template to reach out
                                              •      Collect previous attendance data for incoming                                 to incoming families.
                                                     students.                                                               •     Consider using this communication
                                              •      Analyze the information to identify which                                     tracking tool to reflect on and
                                                     students and families may benefit from                                        monitor your practices of building
                                                     additional relationship building between home                                 meaningful partnerships with families.
                                                     and school and what strategies may work best.                           •     Adapt resources like the Facilitating
                                                                                                                                   Listening Sessions Toolkit that foster
                                                                                                                                   two-way communication.
         Am I fostering a strong               •      Create a communication plan that identifies                            •     Reference DESE’s Family Engagement
         relationship and                             times and methods for when you will establish                                Framework to support planning.
         partnership with all                         contact with each family.                                              •     Consult this guide for effectively
         families?                             •      Set a communication goal that fits within your                               engaging families of English learners.
                                                      plan and unique context, such as establishing a                        •     Consult this guide and resources for
                                                      short, positive conversation with at least 90% of                            beginning positive relationships with
                                                      your families by the end of the first week of                                families of students with disabilities.
                                                      school.                                                                •     Check your assumptions with the
                                                                                                                                   Flamboyan Foundation’s Challenging
                                                                                                                                   Assumptions Reflection Tool.

18
  “Culturally Responsive Teaching”: Great teaching is culturally responsive teaching: focused on promoting academic achievement, demonstrating cultural competence, and fostering students’
sociopolitical awareness.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                                                        10

     PHASE 1 - Priority 2: Establish systems to monitor students’ understanding.
           In this phase, your goal is to make sure you have the necessary assessment tools and data systems to determine how
           you will bring students into grade-level instruction.

               Key Questions                                        Steps for Success                                                Aligned Resources
           Am I collecting timely
                                              •     Update your scope and sequence to include                          •     Use the Standards Navigator to match
           and relevant academic
                                                    time to collect timely and relevant academic                             key content with assessment items.
           data from students?
                                                    data in a manner that fits your content area.
                                                                                                                       •     Use page 14 of this resource to
                                              •     Work with your school leadership team to plan                            consider the best diagnostic strategy
                                                    an assessment calendar, including dates for                              for your content area. With literacy,
                                                    systemwide screeners and curriculum embedded                             regular screeners may be helpful. In
                                                    assessments.                                                             math, consider whether you can build
                                                                                                                             in unit-by-unit diagnostics that can
                                              •     Consider incorporating alternative ways of
                                                                                                                             provide timely information (vs. a
                                                    demonstrating comprehension for beginning to
                                                                                                                             lengthy diagnostic at the beginning
                                                    intermediate ELs, such as responding orally
                                                                                                                             of year).
                                                    instead of in writing and encouraging their use
                                                    of their home language.                                            •     If you are using assessments from
                                                                                                                             your school’s curriculum, evaluate the
                                              •     Collaborate with special education teachers to
                                                                                                                             quality and adapt them, if necessary.
                                                    design and reflect on assessments that are
                                                    aligned to learning goals and free of barriers.                    •     Implement a valid and reliable
                                                                                                                             screener for early literacy, consulting
                                                                                                                             DESE’s literacy assessment page for
                                                                                                                             resources.

           Am I analyzing data and
                                              •     Plan for upcoming school data-distribution                         •     Add data days to your calendar
           using it to plan for
                                                    dates with an understanding of how and when                              worksheet or use your preferred
           instruction?
                                                    the data will be used to inform instruction.                             planning calendar.
                                              •     Collect any available assessment data from the                     •     Review data to learn about your
                                                    previous year or summer that provides                                    students.
                                                    information on potential instruction gaps at the
                                                    student and/or class/cohort level.                                 •     Consider following this guide on
                                                                                                                             using Universal Design for Learning 19        3F

                                                                                                                             (UDL) practices to create formative
                                                                                                                             assessments that are accessible to all
                                                                                                                             students.

19
     Universal Design for Learning is a way of thinking about teaching and learning that helps give all students an equal opportunity to succeed. See www.understood.org
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                       11

PHASE 1 - Priority 3: Review and adjust curriculum and pacing guides.
   In this phase, your goal is to review your curricular materials and adjust your pacing guide to prepare to provide
   grade-appropriate assignments for students.

        Key Questions                            Steps for Success                                   Aligned Resources
   Am I using high-quality,
                               •    Evaluate the quality and grade-appropriateness        •   Visit the Massachusetts CURATE
   grade-appropriate
                                    of your current curriculum against the CURATE             website for reports on widely used
   curricular and
                                    rubric and make adjustments, where necessary.             curriculum materials.
   instructional materials?
                               •    Reflect on your own instructional practice to         •    If CURATE has not rated your
                                    ensure you are holding high, transparent                   materials, consider using these tools:
                                    expectations for all students and supporting the          o   Evaluate whether your adopted
                                    development of students’ academic skills and                  instructional materials are
                                    identities as learners.                                       standards-aligned.
                               •    Collaborate with English language development             o   Determine if your materials meet
                                    teachers and/or instructional specialists to                  the needs of your English learners.
                                    prioritize teaching language skills and                   o   Use this tool to determine if your
                                    vocabulary that are embedded in the curriculum                curricular materials are culturally
                                    and content standards to accelerate the                       responsive.
                                    development of language and content
                                    simultaneously.                                       •   Refer to this guidance from DESE if
                                                                                              your school is planning to change
                                                                                              curriculum or if you need to adapt
                                                                                              your current curriculum.

                                                                                          •   Review tools and resources for
                                                                                              addressing the needs of English
                                                                                              learners with learning disabilities.

   Am I providing
                                    Adapt your pacing guide to include time for           •    This resource contains scaffolding
   differentiated just-in-
                                    just-in-time interventions to fill in learning gaps        strategies that can be used to address
   time interventions to
                                    from last year while prioritizing grade-level              gaps in foundational skills.
   address instructional
                                    content. This includes:
   gaps from last year?                                                                   •    Consult these guides for identifying
                                   •    Time at the beginning of the unit to assess            language demands in ELA and math
                                        the foundational skills needed to master the           in order to write strong language
                                        unit’s content and                                     objectives, and consult this sample
                                   •    Time to supplement content to address the              template for planning language
                                        identified gaps in foundational skills                 objectives.

                                    Identify language demands and provide                 •    Refer to the Interactive Blueprint for
                                    linguistic supports to scaffold content for English        EL Success for guidance and
                                    learners.                                                  exemplars of effective planning and
                                                                                               practices for ELs.
                                    Anticipate and plan for potential barriers to
                                    learning by designing flexible lessons and            •    Consult these resources for guidance
                                    learning environments.                                     and templates for planning lessons
                                                                                               and breaking down barriers to
                                                                                               learning with UDL.

                                                                                          •    With respect to literacy, consider this
                                                                                               resource for supporting students with
                                                                                               early literacy skills and this resource
                                                                                               for literacy accelerators for older
                                                                                               students.

                                                                                          •    Provide assistive technology tools and
                                                                                               resources in the classroom.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                     12

                                     CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING
 Great teaching is culturally responsive teaching: focused on promoting academic achievement, demonstrating cultural competence,
 and fostering students’ sociopolitical awareness. The following DESE resources can support educators in this work.

      Videos of classroom instruction from the Culturally Responsive Teaching Video Library showcase strong culturally responsive
      teaching by Massachusetts educators in a range of content areas, grade levels, and teaching models from the 2020-2021 school
      year (remote, hybrid, and in-person).

      The Facilitator’s Guide: Using OPTIC to Strengthen Understandings of Culturally Responsive Teaching is a video-based platform
      designed to help educators, evaluators, coaches, and mentors build understanding of what culturally responsive teaching looks
      like and how to support it through high-quality feedback.

      The Culturally Responsive Look-Fors are a set of observable, culturally responsive teacher and student actions aligned to focus
      elements from the Classroom Teacher Model Rubric.

      Videos of classroom instruction from the Video Calibration Library and the companion Culturally Responsive Teaching Rubric
      can help you identify aspects of culturally responsive teaching and consider ways to further integrate it into your practice.

      Consider attending workshops on text selection, inclusive and equitable tasks, social-justice oriented tasks, or equitable
      instruction.

Sign up for implementation support: See our menu of professional learning opportunities and register for relevant sessions to
support you in implementing these actions. You can also suggest additional professional learning topics through our Acceleration
Roadmap feedback survey.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                     13

Phase 2 – Launch
September – October 2021

 PHASE 2 - Priority 1: Welcome students and families to your classroom.
    In this phase, you will focus on establishing welcoming classroom systems and routines, closely monitoring student
    attendance and engagement, and communicating frequently with students and families.

        Key Questions                            Steps for Success                                  Aligned Resources
    Do students feel
                               •   Closely monitor student attendance and               •    Consult this guide with steps to
    welcome in my
                                   engagement.                                               strengthen student attendance and
    classroom?
                                                                                             assignment completion.
                               •   Engage students in activities that support
                                   building early relationships.                         •   Consider using activities from the
                                                                                             table below this chart.

    Am I seeking student
                               •   Conduct daily or weekly check-ins with students.     •    Use these English learner-friendly
    and family input and
                                                                                             Google forms for regular check-ins.
    feedback to inform my      •   Create a communication tracking tool to reflect
    efforts?                       on and monitor your practices.                       •    Adapt this sample communication
                                                                                             tracking tool.
                               •   Solicit student and family feedback to ensure
                                   your efforts are informed by, and reflective of,      •   Consider working with your school to
                                   their values and priorities.                              host parent perspectives workshop or
                                                                                             partnering with your school’s SEPAC or
                                                                                             district ELPAC to facilitate.
                                                                                         •   Incorporate DESE’s Adapted Model
                                                                                             Feedback Surveys to capture student
                                                                                             feedback.

    Am I fostering strong
                               •   Send home a family letter in their preferred         •    Adapt and send this sample family
    partnerships with all
                                   language to explain academic goals for the 2021-          letter explaining learning acceleration
    families?
                                   2022 school year.                                         or use these family guides to the
                                                                                             standards.
                               •   Revisit your initial communication plan and goal;
                                   update and revise where necessary to maintain        •    Utilize the Flamboyan Foundation’s
                                   regular, positive connections with students and           Challenging Assumptions Reflection
                                   families who would most benefit from increased            Tool.
                                   relationship building.

              IDEAS FOR STRENGTHENING STUDENTS’ SCHOOL RELATIONSHIPS AND SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
     Make a plan to implement some of these strategies regularly throughout the school year. Choose the strategies that are
     most appropriate for your grade and subject area.

                                             Use this relationship mapping strategy
     Engage students in creating a learner
                                             to ensure all students have a strong      Implement Brain Breaks
     autobiography
                                             relationship with someone at school

                                                                                       Consult Transforming
                                             Support the development of a growth
     Work with students to create If-Then                                              Education’s Trauma-informed SEL
                                             mindset with Rose, Bud, Thorn
     Plans                                                                             Toolkit for strengths-based strategies
                                             Journaling
                                                                                       you can integrate into your classroom.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                         14

PHASE 2 - Priority 2: Monitor students’ understanding.
   In this phase, your goal is to make sure you have the data to determine how to bring students into grade-level
   instruction. Give a limited number of short assessments that prioritize students’ wellbeing while giving you the
   information you need to bring them into your next unit of study.

       Key Questions                             Steps for Success                                      Aligned Resources
   Am I collecting timely
                              •    Within your first unit of instruction, use            •       Read this overview explaining the
   and relevant academic
                                   curriculum-embedded assessments that can help                 purpose of curriculum embedded
   data from students?
                                   monitor student understanding of grade-level                  assessments.
                                   content.
                                                                                            •    Read this overview about prioritizing
                                                                                                 assessment data that is close to
                                                                                                 instruction.

                                                                                            •    To map assessment items back to
                                                                                                 standards, use the standards
                                                                                                 navigator.

   Am I analyzing data and
                              •    Participate in school-based data analysis cycles     •       Utilize your school’s data analysis forms
   using it to plan for
                                   and/or professional development.                             and templates. If you need examples,
   instruction?
                                                                                                consider these:
                              •    Set up systems to collaborate with ESL teachers
                                   and/or instructional specialists to analyze                  o    TNTP’s Student Experience
                                   formative assessments alongside language                          Assessment Guide and Assignment
                                   proficiency data to identify strengths and areas                  Review Protocols (also in appendix
                                   for growth.                                                       for all subject areas)
                              •    Set up systems to collaborate with special                   o    EL Education’s ATLAS protocol
                                   education teachers to revisit IEP goals, determine
                                                                                                o    Student Achievement Partners’
                                   progress, and discuss how to leverage students’
                                                                                                     protocol
                                   strengths to achieving their goals.
                                                                                                o    Chart that contrasts culturally
                                                                                                     sustaining and culturally
                                                                                                     destructive dialogue.

                                                                                        •       Use the WIDA Can Do Descriptors to
                                                                                                understand what ELs at different levels
                                                                                                of English proficiency can do in the four
                                                                                                domains and what students should be
                                                                                                growing toward.
                                                                                        •       Use this guidance to co-create
                                                                                                strengths-based goals with students
                                                                                                with disabilities.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                       15

 PHASE 2 - Priority 3: Provide grade-appropriate assignments and plan scaffolding strategies.
      In this phase, your goal is to prepare and provide grade-appropriate assignments. You might feel tempted to give
      students work that’s below their grade level this year to address what they missed in the prior year. But this
      traditional approach to remediation often just ensures students will never catch up. Instead, provide grade-
      level content along with “just-in-time” interventions to fill in learning gaps from last year.

           Key Questions                           Steps for Success                                   Aligned Resources
      Am I using high-quality,
                                 •   Evaluate the quality of assignments you are            •   See TNTP’s assignment review
      grade-appropriate
                                     providing to ensure all students have the                  protocols for content-specific guides,
      curricular and
                                     opportunity to meaningfully engage in high-                and browse examples of low- and
      instructional materials?
                                     quality, grade-appropriate content.                        high-quality assignments in their
                                                                                                student work library.
                                 •   Reflecting on your instructional practice, set goals
                                     to ensure you are holding high, transparent            •   Use the Culturally Responsive
                                     expectations for all students and supporting the           Teaching Rubric & video library to set
                                     development of students’ academic skills and               instructional goals for yourself this
                                     identities as learners.                                    year.

                                                                                            •   Use Universal Design for Learning
                                                                                                (UDL) principles of engagement,
                                                                                                representation, and expression.

      Am I providing
                                 •   Once you have assessment data, update your             •   Use TNTP’s Scaffolding Strategies for
      differentiated just-in-
                                     pacing guide to identify specific areas where              general and content-specific
      time interventions to
                                     students will likely need just-in-time interventions       strategies.
      address instructional
                                     within each unit.
      gaps from last year?                                                                  •   Refer to DESE’s Interactive Blueprint
                                 •   Proactively plan scaffolding strategies for daily or       for EL Success and Quick Reference
                                     weekly lessons according to the learning                   Guides for meaningful and rigorous
                                     objective, target standard(s), and your students’          classroom-level learning opportunities
                                     needs.                                                     that build on English learners’ assets
                                                                                                and classroom-level academic and
                                 •   Incorporate multiple appropriate entry points that
                                                                                                linguistic supports.
                                     maintain rigorous expectations for students at
                                     different English language proficiency levels and      •   Use this step-by-step UDL lesson
                                     for students with learning disabilities.                   planning template to identify and
                                                                                                address potential barriers to learning
                                                                                                for students with disabilities.
                                                                                            •   Provide instructional materials and
                                                                                                texts in accessible formats to increase,
                                                                                                maintain, or improve the functional
                                                                                                capabilities of a child with a disability.

Sign up for implementation support: See our menu of professional learning opportunities and register for relevant sessions to
support you in implementing these actions. You can also suggest additional professional learning topics through our Acceleration
Roadmap feedback survey.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                      16

Phase 3 – Progress Monitoring
November 2021 – May 2022

PHASE 3 - Priority 1: Deepen relationships with students and families.
    In this phase, your goal is to utilize data and feedback from students and families to revise and update your
    engagement plan. You should use systems that allow you to monitor students’ and families’ experiences
    continuously and adjust your approaches to target the most effective strategies for the students and families who
    may benefit most.

    Now is the time to go back to your calendar worksheet. Ensure you have built in planning time and instructional time for these
    steps in each unit throughout the rest of the school year.

        Key Questions                            Steps for Success                                   Aligned Resources
    Do students feel
                              •    Reflect on and develop your linguistically and         •    Consult these video resources on
    welcome in my
                                   culturally responsive teaching practices.                   culturally responsive teaching to view
    classroom?
                                                                                               exemplars, study and reflect on
                              •    Align your academic objectives to SEL objectives
                                                                                               instructional practice, or calibrate with
                                   to support development of social and emotional
                                                                                               peers using OPTIC to identify
                                   competencies.
                                                                                               culturally responsive teaching Look-
                                                                                               Fors in math and ELA.

                                                                                          •   Use this guide and resource from
                                                                                              CASEL for examples of aligning SEL
                                                                                              and academic content.

    Am I seeking student
                              •    Administer a brief student engagement survey to       •    Use or adapt this TNTP student
    and family input and
                                   collect information on student engagement during           engagement survey.
    feedback to inform my
                                   lessons.
    efforts?                                                                             •    Reference this sample communication
                              •    Use the data collected from the student                    tracker or revisit the one you created
                                   engagement survey to adjust your lesson plans              in Phase I.
                                   and set a goal for increased engagement in the
                                                                                         •    Use or adapt this TNTP stakeholder
                                   next unit.
                                                                                              feedback reflection and planning
                              •    Update your family communication plan to                   guide template.
                                   incorporate data from your communication tracker
                                                                                         •    Consider using this Academic
                                   and feedback you’ve received from families.
                                                                                              Partnering Toolkit for Teachers to
                                                                                              continue reflecting on and modifying
                                                                                              your approach to equitable and
                                                                                              culturally responsive family
                                                                                              partnerships.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                      17

PHASE 3 – Priorities 2 and 3: Monitor students’ understanding & provide grade-appropriate
instruction with just-in-time scaffolds.
   In this phase, your goal is to monitor student learning and adjust instructional strategies to ensure that all students
   demonstrate mastery of grade-level content. You may use formal assessment instruments, such as summative end-
   of-unit quizzes, tests, and projects, but equally important is including formative and in-class assessments in the
   form of classwork and tasks. The methods you use to monitor students’ understanding will be highly specialized for
   your subject area, grade level, and school. However, all teachers should follow the same instructional cycle to
   systematically accelerate learning:
                                                 Learning Acceleration Instructional Cycle

         Cycle Step                               Steps for Success                                     Aligned Resources
  1. Conduct unit-specific    •    Use curriculum-embedded tasks or questions from        •    Use tasks and questions from your
     pre-assessment                the unit as a pre-assessment, being sure to assess          standards-aligned curriculum
                                   the aligned standards or prerequisite standards.       •    Use the standards navigator to identify
                                                                                               prerequisite standards.
   2. Determine which         •    Where gaps are identified, determine prerequisite      •    Build your knowledge of grade-level
      prior knowledge to           standards that could be integrated into grade-              standards in your grade as well as those
      embed within the             level units of study to support grade-level mastery.        directly above and below yours. These
      unit.                                                                                    content guides are a useful resource.
   3. Continuously assess     •    Plan formative assessments for between and             •    Use formative assessment data to guide
      student learning by          within lessons.                                             instruction.
      reviewing work and      •    Continue to collaborate and seek out the support       •    Use or adapt this collaborative protocol
      data.                        of instructional specialists (e.g., ESL teachers and        for reviewing student work to discuss
                                   special education teachers) to interpret data and           instructional next steps.
                                   monitor the progress of specific student groups.       •    Consult this guidance on best practices
                                                                                               for looking at EL student data and
                                                                                               making data-informed decisions.
                                                                                          •    Use the student work library or this
                                                                                               collection of student writing samples on
                                                                                               OPTIC to calibrate alignment to grade-
                                                                                               level standards, either independently or
                                                                                               with your peers.
                                                                                          •    Study your students’ writing samples for
                                                                                               alignment to grade-level standards.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                          18

 PHASE 3 – Priorities 2 and 3: Monitor students’ understanding & provide grade-appropriate
 instruction with just-in-time scaffolds.
            Cycle Step                              Steps for Success                                     Aligned Resources
     4. Determine the best                                                                    •    Visit Appendix A: Actions and
                               •    Focus on one or two instructional strategies that
        ways to reteach                                                                            resources to provide grade-
                                    require students to “do the thinking,” which will help
        specific content to                                                                        appropriate instruction with just-in-
                                    them build their knowledge and skills and more
        students who need                                                                          time scaffolds (Phase 3, Priority 3) for
                                    deeply engage in their learning.
        it.                                                                                        a list of instructional strategies.
                               •    Continue providing various scaffolds, keeping track
                                                                                              •    Revisit TNTP’s Scaffolding Strategies
                                    of which are most effective for specific knowledge
                                                                                                   to identify which are most effective
                                    and skills and for individual students.
                                                                                                   with your students.
                               •    Understand what learners can do with language             •    Use the WIDA Can Do Descriptors to
                                    across subject areas and use what you learn to                 understand what ELs at different
                                    support equitable access and assessment for English            levels of English proficiency can do in
                                    learners.                                                      the four domains and what they
                               •    Provide opportunities for English learners to                  should be growing toward.
                                    demonstrate their learning in all four language           •    Refer to this guidance to understand
                                    domains and in their home language, in accordance              the difference between interventions
                                    with their English proficiency level.                          and accommodations for students
                                                                                                   with IEPs.
                                                                                              •    Visit the U.S. Department of
                                                                                                   Education’s, Office of Special
                                                                                                   Education Programs for guidance on
                                                                                                   Multi-tiered Systems of Support for
                                                                                                   ELs with and without disabilities.

                                      MULTI-TIERED SYSTEMS OF SUPPORT
 Your goal is to support students within Tier 1 instruction by using just-in-time instruction and scaffolds. Tier 1 scaffolds are the best
 way to support mastery when the majority of your students are struggling with a concept or skill. However, you must build classroom
 systems (or use your school’s system) of support to ensure that every student receives a high-quality educational experience.

     •    Watch or re-watch this intro video about MTSS and the literacy-specific overview here.
     •    Remember that Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction should be aligned to Tier 1 instruction. Work with your coach or grade-level
          team to consider what tiers of support will be helpful for your students, but remember, tiers are not locations. It may be
          helpful to review this resource: Understanding Tier Patterns and Movements Within MTSS.
     •    Visit this DESE resource page for more information on organizing for tiered instruction.

Sign up for implementation support: See our menu of professional learning opportunities and register for relevant sessions to
support you in implementing these actions. You can also suggest additional professional learning topics through our Acceleration
Roadmap feedback survey.
CLASSROOM EDUCATOR EDITION                                                                                                        19

Phase 4 – Reflection and Planning
May–June 2022

PHASE 4 - Priority 1: Celebrate students’ accomplishments and reflect on students’ and
families’ experiences.
    In this phase, your goal is to celebrate students’ and families’ achievements this year and solicit their feedback to plan
    for the upcoming school year.

         Key Questions                             Steps for Success                                    Aligned Resources

    Do students feel
                                •    Summarize helpful information you have                 •    Plan for the last 6 weeks of school.
    welcome in my
                                     gathered throughout the year, including
    classroom?
                                     effective strategies for supporting specific
                                     students and families.
                                •    Work with colleagues to determine the best way
                                     to document and share this information.

                                •    Plan an event that celebrates students’
                                     accomplishments. Consider collaborating with
                                     other staff and including families and caregivers.

    Am I seeking student
                                •    Use end-of-year surveys to gather data from            •    Use or adapt TNTP’s Learning
    and family input and
                                     students and families.                                      Acceleration Survey.
    feedback to inform my
    efforts?                    •    Work in teams to analyze the results and
                                     determine how effective your practices were in
                                     partnering with students and families.

                                •    Disaggregate results by student population to
                                     identify trends and areas for continued focus.

PHASE 4 - Priority 2: Assess and analyze student mastery of grade-level content.
    In this phase, your goal is to conduct summative assessments that support summer learning opportunities and/or a
    strong start to next school year.

         Key Questions                            Steps for Success                                     Aligned Resources
    Am I using effective
                               •    Conduct summative assessments, including                •    Research on Classroom Summative
    assessment
                                    MCAS, that capture student mastery of grade-                 Assessment.
    instruments?
                                    level content.

    Am I analyzing data and
                               •    Collect and analyze results from summative              •    Tips on Organizing Student Data
    using it to plan for
                                    assessments. Work with colleagues to determine
    instruction?                                                                            •    Follow sound practices for students
                                    the best way to document this information to
                                                                                                 with IEPs using the IEP process guide.
                                    inform summer programming or next school year.

                               •    Analyze whole-class, student group, and
                                    individual student results to identify areas to
                                    adjust instructional practices moving forward.

                               •    Ensure that students’ IEP and progress reports
                                    accurately reflect each student’s growth, current
                                    achievement levels, and the most effective
                                    methods for supporting them.
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